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Canadian water for-sale

One of the many things I’m proud of as a Canadian is our natural resources. We have some of the most spectacular landscapes in the world. From coast to coast to coast you can escape into a world that is rarely touched by humans.

I have met many people during my travels and I often brag about Canada. I show pictures of the prairies, Banff, Peggy’s Cove, Toronto and other places I spend time in. Each time the reaction is the same, WOW – are those places real? They’re beautiful! And they are indeed very beautiful, but, as Canadians we pay to preserve these natural wonders through our taxes and user fees.

But now I have learned that our Governments across our country are selling one of our most precious natural resources, fresh water. We sell oil, lumber, gravel, sand, precious stones, and other natural resources, so selling water doesn’t seem like that much of a stretch. Most items on that list do sell at a fair market value, but what our Governments are allowing our fresh water to be sold for is criminal! Environmental group Wellington Water Watchers, recently made the news when they shouted very loudly that the Ontario Government was selling Nestle fresh water for just $3.71 for every million litres of water after they pay a permit fee of $750 for low- or medium-risk water takings, or $3,000 for those considered a high risk to cause an adverse environmental impact. This according to a CBC story.

It doesn’t take a pHD in Economics to quickly figure out the profit just one company is making selling one of our most precious natural resources. Under $4.00 to take ONE MILLION litres of our FRESH WATER. Take a minute and compare that to oil.

It’s no secret, Canada has more fresh water than anywhere in the world. In fact, according to the Government of Ontario website; Ontario’s more than 250,000 lakes contain about one-fifth of the world’s fresh water. But that’s for now, today. What about in ten years? I’ve often heard people talk about Canada’s water and how we will soon be selling it at a cost more expensive than oil. You can do your own research and find that there are many investors in the United States that have already put money into Canada’s fresh water. And us? we’re just giving it away.

To be fair, Nestle is not the only company with such an incredible deal. There are over 6,000 in Ontario alone that have permits, all paying just under $4.00 for every one MILLION litres they take from us. OK, I have to do this just one more time. You can buy a one-litre bottle of water for, let’s say $4.00. The company paid that same price for ONE MILLION litres!

If this water was being designated for people in countries with no access to fresh water, I wouldn’t have an issue. But, this is a commercial venture with corporations making profits, huge profits. And it’s not just one company, there are more than 5,000 licenses in Ontario alone.

I would not dare say I’m an environmentalist. I could do much better myself at helping the environment.  We have so many politicians running on the platform of “Environmentally Friendly”, why have they not made this an issue? What does Environmentally Friendly mean to them? Does it mean increase user fees to parks? Does it mean introduce a Carbon Tax? Why not start today by charging fairly for our Fresh Water.

Why not increase the cost to $50 per one million litres? Surely the corporations would continue to make significant profits. The Governments could then utilize these new revenues for environmental projects. Which could equate to nearly 1-Billion in new revenue a year.

Is this important to you? How did we not know this? Why would our elected officials not act on this? We have to force the change in our country. You know, when people get fired up social media – politicians take notice!

Here are a couple of related sites;

http://wellingtonwaterwatchers.ca/

http://www.cela.ca/article/water-taking-faqs/case-against-water-exports

http://www.cela.ca/article/selling-our-water-water-taking-lake-superior

-Kevin Klein, MyToba News

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1 Comment

  • Shelley (Kaptein) Killeen says:

    Thank you for this wonderful article and doing your homework. And YES why are we once again prostituting ourselves as a country for other companies/countries gain. I hope that this article with your links will move people to actually do something. I know I will and I am going to be sending a lot of people to your article and links. Our government officials seem like just BIG talkers!